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Anatomy of a MAGA scam

What would you say if I advised you there was a very uncensorable, 100% safe cellphone you possibly can purchase that will not solely stick it to these Silicon Valley elites, however it’d additionally assist assist good outdated American freedom and democracy?

Well, hell, I’d say: signal me up! Give me 10 Freedom telephones and a aspect of making shit nice once more.

First although, let’s check out what we’re entering into. I like Freedom© as a lot as the following individual however I’m additionally a expertise journalist. And meaning I can let you know how superior that is!

Behold the the badass Freedom cellphone!


  • CPU: Connects on to James Woods’ mind by way of the cloud
  • Screen: 4K is for liberals and nerds
  • OS: Whatever the most affordable Android clone we might smash collectively was
  • RAM: No thanks, I choose Ford vans.
  • Battery: Google says that’s a music by Metallica however this machine solely performs Kid Rock
  • Ports: You’re an fool, you don’t care. (Seriously, there’s NO data on the web site)

Okay, these aren’t the actual specs. I imply, they may very well be. Nobody freaking is aware of.

There’s a website. But, properly, it’s a hoot. It invokes the type of imagery you’d think about if MyPillow had a information present on OANN on the highly-coveted 2AM time slot and Freedom Phone purchased 20 minutes of promoting time.

Do you’re keen on Freedom? Did you already know that Osama, whoops, I imply Obama makes use of telephones from US firms comparable to Google and Apple? Are you a liberal, communist, piece of America-hating crap like Obama? No? Then why are you utilizing the identical cellphone as a liberal, communist, piece of America-hating crap?

In all seriousness: On a scale of 1 to the life’s work of Charles Ponzi, I’d price the Freedom Phone the Joe Exotic’s run for Governor of sensible cellphone scams.

Here’s a tweet thread from the proprietor of the Freedom Phone, Erik Finman:

In asserting the cellphone, Finman says it comes “complete with it’s own Uncensorable App Store & Privacy Features.” This units the huckster, carnival barker tone that Finman’s adopted for this explicit rip-off (extra on Finman later, he and the media return just a few years).

Words like “uncensorable,” capitalized above, are meaningless buzzwords employed to draw conservatives who know little-to-nothing about tech.

But we all know sensible telephones right here at TNW. Our Plugged sub-brand has a few of the best reviewers within the enterprise. And we’ve reviewed tons of (if not 1000’s) of sensible telephones over time. So belief me after I let you know that it’s at all times a nasty signal when a producer received’t disclose technical specs.

What we do know is that Finman’s cellphone is cobbled collectively from Chinese components and contains a hodge-podge OS. That doesn’t imply it sucks, however there’s undoubtedly a purpose he received’t share any of the particular tech specs. And it’s virtually definitely as a result of this cellphone has shit {hardware} and a shittier OS.

Furthermore, there’s no such factor as uncensorable. Finman is preying on ignorance. Buying a Freedom Phone received’t get you unblocked from Facebook or allow you to inform your reality about vaccines on Twitter.

All this cellphone can do, is give you a home made app retailer that permits individuals who can’t peddle their apps on different app shops, comparable to Alex Jones, to entry the consumer base. In different phrases: You’re paying $500 for a tool utilizing an OS and app retailer that’s virtually assured to fail.

App shops take a sure proportion of income to be able to facilitate seamless transactions. In this case, there will probably be subsequent to no income for anybody taking part in Finman’s rip-off. Freedom Phone solely must promote just a few hundred thousand items for Finman to make one other million or so.

But let’s think about you’re in an internet eco-system with 500K different customers. All of you’re like-minded, MAGA-loving, Americans who simply wish to get your information from proper wing retailers and socialize with individuals who assume such as you.

No offense, however who the hell desires to develop an app with a 100% saturation ceiling of 500K customers? Literal billions of individuals play senseless puzzle video games on Facebook and even a modest hit within the Apple retailer ticks 1,000,000 or extra customers in a single day.

Even amongst Trump supporters, there’s solely a really small proportion of people that would so gleefully search such an insular expertise.

Even worse, shopping for this cellphone received’t provide you with any extra entry to proper wing voices than every other cellphone presently does. Because your cellphone, OS, browser, or app retailer isn’t what’s censoring them.

They’re not being censored. They’re being deplatformed. And a sensible cellphone isn’t a platform.

So when the Daily Stormer will get taken down as a result of no one will host it – meaning it’s down it doesn’t matter what your cellphone’s private politics are. When Trump will get kicked off Facebook and Twitter after which fails to start out his personal profitable social media community regardless of no one attempting to cease him, that’s not censorship. A Freedom Phone can’t join you to one thing that doesn’t exist.

At the top of the day, this can be a $500 “legal” rip-off. Finman’s promoting you a cellphone. As lengthy because it features in any respect, he’ll have lived as much as his finish of the contract. But you’re virtually definitely getting a chunk of shit cellphone with a barely-functioning OS that completely “uncensors” nothing.

Here’s the worst half: Erik Finman is aware of precisely what he’s doing. I stated we’d get to him, right here we go.

I began protecting the “Teenage Bitcoin millionaire” again in 2018. I used to be enamored of his entrepreneurship and, as somebody who went via a reasonably large punk rock section in his late teenagers, I noticed a little bit of myself in Erik’s brashness.

An Instagram post from Erik Finman, lying on a mattress holding a pistol, surrounded by cash.

Finman and I talked a number of occasions, although if I recall accurately I solely wrote twostories about him. Over a few years he and I mentioned knowledge – I’ve at all times maintained we must always receives a commission for our knowledge – and different matters such because the schooling system, cryptocurrency, and satellites.

a screenshot of a deleted tweet